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Space Math is a NASA website containing space-themed math lessons for students in elementary school through high school. You can search for lessons according to grade level or mathematics topic. The bulk of the materials seem to be PDFs of directions for carrying out the lesson plans. The exception to that pattern being the middle school (grades 6-8) resources which include the use of some of NASA eClips videos.



The featured lesson plans on the Space Math homepage today are designed to have students use some free apps on their smartphones to record data and learn about sound, light, radiation, and magnetism.



Applications for Education

Each of the Space Math lessons align to different NASA missions. The NASA missions provide the context for the math lessons. That alignment makes Space Math lessons a good option for an integrated science and mathematics lesson.

The winter concert season is upon us in many schools. For some students the experience of being on stage is truly frightening. For others it isn't so scary. This is a good time to bring up this TED-Ed lesson that explains why people get stage fright and how to deal with it.




Applications for Education

Understanding why something happens and accepting it are the first steps to changing it. This TED-Ed lesson could be a great little lesson to share with students in the weeks before they give presentations in your classroom.

As you may know, one of the ways that I keep Free Technology for Teachers running is with the revenue generated through my other site, Practical Ed Tech. On Practical Ed Tech I offer online professional development courses. In January I am hosting three professional development courses on PracticalEdTech.com. Enrollment is limited to 25 people in each course.



Teaching History With Technology

Teaching History With Technology is a series of five live webinars starting on January 8th. Each interactive webinar features practical ideas for using technology to create new, engaging lessons or to update some of your existing “go-to” history lessons. Detailed handouts are provided with every webinar. And if you miss a meeting or you just want to see something again, a recording of the webinars will be available to you too. Register by December 31st to save $15.



Video Projects for Every Classroom

Start the year with this five week webinar series in which you will learn how to create and complete five video projects that can be used in almost any classroom. Whether your students use Chromebooks, iPads, Android, Windows, or Mac, you can do these projects. Making videos gets students excited about polishing their work for others to see. From Kindergarten through high school students can make videos to showcase their skills, knowledge, and creativity. Click here to register and learn more. Register by December 31st to save $15.



Getting Going With G Suite in 2019

Every year this is my most popular online course. It has been updated for 2019 to include all of the latest features of G Suite for Education. This course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that G Suite offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With G Suite is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate all aspects of G Suite for Education including Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. Click here to learn more and to register. Register by December 31st to save $15.



FAQs



  • Each of these courses is five weeks long. They all start the week of January 7th. 
  • Each course meeting is scheduled for one hour of instruction plus time for Q&A. 
  • You can receive a PD certificate for five hours. 
  • All of the live sessions are recorded so that you can go back and watch them whenever you like. 

Speakd is a free Google Docs add-on that will read your documents aloud. When you have Speakd installed in Google Docs you can open the add-on and press play at any time to hear your document read aloud. Unlike some other text-to-speech tools, Speakd doesn't require you to copy and paste text to hear it read aloud.




Applications for Education

Voice that Speakd uses is very robotic. That said, Speakd could be a good tool for students to use to hear their documents read aloud as part of the editing process before turning in a final submission.

PBS Kids ScratchJr is a PBS Kids-themed version of the popular ScratchJr app. PBS Kids ScratchJr is available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app. The app is designed to help five to eight year old students learn basic programming concepts through a drag-and-drop interface.



Just like the ScratchJr app, on PBS Kids ScratchJr students program a story or game by selecting background settings and characters for each frame of the story. Then in each frame students select the actions that they want their characters to take. Students snap programming pieces together to make characters move and talk in their stories and games.



The difference between PBS Kids ScratchJr and the regular ScratchJr app is found in the character and background choices. In the PBS Kids version students can select backgrounds and characters from some of their favorite PBS Kids programs including Nature Cat, World Girl, and Arthur.



Applications for Education

PBS Kids ScratchJr provides a fun platform through which students can learn programming concepts while animating stories based on some of their favorite PBS Kids characters. Visit the PBS Kids ScratchJr landing page to find resources for teachers getting started with the app or planning how to use it in a K-3 classroom.

This is a guest post from Avra Robinson (@AvraRachel), Director of Online Learning for EdTechTeacher.



When teachers or students begin to explore new digital environments, they often become confused and frustrated because they lack the basic building blocks needed to feel comfortable and proficient - whether it is the vocabulary of the app, toolbars that seem to randomly appear and disappear, or workflow that seemingly defies the laws of organization. However, there are some simple concepts and lessons that can help increase success with technology.



Sometimes when we’ve been teaching concepts for a long time or using tools for what seems like forever, it’s hard to remember what it feels like to just get started. In other words, we have to work really hard to see a lesson through the eyes of a beginner. As a professional development instructor, participants often tell me that they wish someone could just break down some of these basic skills and concepts, not only for them but also for their students.



With that in mind, I decided to create this eBook - 3 Mysteries of Utilizing G Suite with Newbies - to introduce many of the concepts and skills necessary to ease the transition into G Suite for Education. Whether you are a teacher working with students, a technology coach working with teachers, or someone new to Google tools, I hope that exploring the ideas within this book will help you build a strong foundation for future success!




Money Math Duel is an iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn to count currency. The app is unique in that it allows two students to use it at the same time. Students place the iPad between them and each has his or her own end of the screen to use. Students "compete" head-to-head to count money quickly and accurately. The app gives students different amounts to count so that they can't copy each other's work. The app also lets students adjust individual settings to change colors and default currency denominations. As David Kapuler wrote in his blog post about it, this makes it "fair" for students of different abilities to play the same game.





Applications for Education

Money Math Duel could be a good app to use in an elementary school math lesson on addition and subtraction of money.



The iPad version of Money Math Duel is currently free to download. The Android version is not free. I've used other apps from this developer in which the pricing was reversed and the iPad version was paid and the Android version was free. Perhaps in the future we'll see that switch again. In the meantime, grab the free iPad app Money Math Duel.



Thanks again to David Kapuler for sharing this app. Check out his blog for other good app recommendations. 

Good morning from chilly Paris Hill, Maine where it's a crisp 7F as write this. In the category of "things I never did before having kids" today we're going to look at a big Christmas tree display and to see Santa. It should be fun even if it takes thirty minutes to get the kids into snowsuits to go outside. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you can get outside to do something fun too.



These were the week's most popular posts:

1. A New Gradebook for Google Classroom!

2. Turn Text to Speech With the Voicepods Chrome Extension

3. Free Environment Data Fact Sheets and Posters from the UN

4. How to Add Videos to Google Slides Without Using YouTube

5. Ten Resources for Teaching and Learning About Pearl Harbor

6. 120 Free Winter-themed Reading Lesson Plans

7. How to Upload Videos to Reply to Flipgrid Topics




Three Online PD Courses Starting in January

I'm offering three professional development courses to start 2019. Discounted early registration is now open for:





Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.



Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.

Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.

TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids.

Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.

University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.


Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

It is not a secret that I'm a devoted Google Docs user. Since the first time that I tried it, I've done nearly all of my writing in Google Documents. Even when I was writing for a magazine that required all submissions to be in Word format, I wrote in Google Documents. I was able to do that because Google makes it easy to download your Google Docs in Word, PDF, TXT, HTML, and EPUB format. To download a Google Document in one of those formats simply open the File drop-down menu in Google Docs then select "Download as..." This short video that I made demonstrates how to download Google Documents.




Applications for Education

If you ever find yourself needing to send a document to someone who refuses to use Google Documents, downloading that document as a PDF or Word file is a simple solution. I often use the "Download as PDF" option for easier printing and distribution of handouts.



Learn more about Google Docs in my upcoming course, Getting Going With G Suite in 2019.

At one time or another we've all suffered from a bout of heartburn. It usually happens to me if I drink soda pop (sometime the allure of a cold can of Coke on a hot day is too strong to resist). What else can cause heartburn? And what is actually happening in your body when you experience heartburn? Those are the questions that are answered the TED-Ed lesson What Causes Heartburn? The lesson includes excellent drawings that illustrate how stomach acid gets back up into your esophagus. The lesson also covers the lifestyle habits and diets that contribute to heartburn.




Applications for Education

This lesson could be a good fit for a health class in which students are learning about the effects of diet and nutrition. The lesson could also be a good fit in a science class in which students are studying anatomy and physiology.

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